Being a National Crane truck operator involves a great deal of knowledge about the safe use of such equipment at the worksite. While this crane truck helps make every construction job easier and faster, it is also very delicate and requires concise calculations and control. An error in handling the load could result in catastrophic damage. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has mandated that all crane truck operators undergo training due to their huge level of responsibility.
Implementation of Provisions
Personnel training and certification went into effect on November 8, 2010. Training is mandatory for all personnel involved in the operation of crane trucks, including crew members, maintenance persons, riggers, signal persons, and most particularly drivers. Each worker that is involved with this vehicle must undergo evaluations to meet the specific requirements of the job. Training must also take place to identify potential work place hazards.
Some states and municipalities had already implemented licensing rules, so those drivers were already licensed to legally operate this vehicle. One of the changes mandated by OSHA was to give states until February of 2011 to be sure that their licensing laws meet the minimum criteria set forth by OSHA.
For states lacking any licensing rules, from November 8, 2010 through November 10, 2014, all operators and other personnel are required to undergo training and evaluations in order to legally operate this equipment.
To qualify for operator certification, a candidate must meet the following requirements:
- Must be 18 years of age or older
- Meet medical requirements
- Comply with the National Commission For The Certification Of Crane Operators (NCCCO) substance abuse policy
- Pass both written and practical exams.
- Comply with the NCCCO code of ethics.
It is also important that the candidate applying for certification be currently employed in crane operations and has already undergone some on-the-job training.
Evaluation and Certification
After meeting all the eligibility requirements, National Crane operators may undergo evaluation and certification. The NCCCO certification consists of two parts which are the written and the practical examinations. These two can be taken in any order. Applicants have exactly 12 months to complete both of them.
Written Exam – This part of the test is composed of two parts, the core and the specialty examinations. All candidates, regardless of the equipment for which they are certifying, must undergo the core examination. It is a 90-item multiple choice test that should be completed within 90 minutes.
There are several options for specialty examinations, depending upon the certification being sought by the candidate. Mobile crane operators can choose between:
- Lattice Boom Crawler
- Lattice Boom Truck
- Telescopic Crane with Swing Cab
- Telescopic Crane with Fixed Cab
Each of the specialty examinations is composed of 26 item multiple choice questions. Candidates are expected to complete the test within 60 minutes.
Practical Exam – This phase is designed for candidates to demonstrate their proficiency in handling the equipment. For mobile cranes, the candidate can choose between three types: a lattice boom; a telescopic boom with a swing cab; and a telescopic boom with a fixed cab. An evaluator will monitor the candidate’s performance while performing standard maneuvers.
Importance of Personnel Training
The training and certification implemented by OSHA for crane personnel is designed to reduce the likelihood of accidents. The purpose of this provision is to reduce accidents that are commonly experienced with this equipment. These potential risks include: tipping and boom failure; electrocution; falling; crushing caused by the equipment’s components such as counterweights; and problems during the assembly and disassembly process.
OSHA’s provisions for National Crane truck personnel training are important in heightening the safety standards of the industry and reducing the rate of job-related accidents. OSHA’s training and certification process has made a great emphasis to the crane truck industry the importance of personnel training in mobile crane operation. These changes can do nothing but provide additional benefits and safety to those who operate these powerful crane trucks!